Fence of Love
Adopting a dog? Have you considered the safety of your new family member? Having a fenced yard is often a requirement when adopting a cuddly canine. Breeders, foster volunteers, shelter personnel, animal control officers, and experienced adopters all agree that the safest and most obvious home for a rescued pup includes a fenced area.
Thoughts to “chew” on:
New-to-you animals are not yet familiar with the neighborhood or their family. Limitations need to be established from day one. They need boundaries and a masters’ loving attention to create a mutual bond and to feel secure. Fences are an act of love.
Dogs allowed to wander or are tied out unsupervised are at great risk of getting lost, stolen, injured, attacked by any variety of animals or peoples, poisoned, or worse, hit by a vehicle.
Left to explore without you, dogs may become exposed to rabid animals bringing a fatal disease home. They can become ill from eating spoiled food from outside garbage. Did you know that toxic plants and poisonous frogs appear as tasty treats to dogs? Simply inhaling a pile of ants can cause an allergic reaction making a four-legged friend deathly ill. Not a pretty picture!
It may be a common occurrence in rural places to let dogs run free, however, it is a fact that in some areas, farmers are allowed to shoot marauding animals, including dogs, if their livestock are threatened, and ask questions later. I will never maraud again.
Aggressive behavior may also develop with dogs who are chained up outside. Over time, a lonely defensive dog will develop the undesirable fight reaction of the fight or flight response, right? I said RIGHT?
Now that you are convinced you need a fence before bringing poochie home, here are ideas on location, location, location.
Okay, so the first thought on location is that a fence doesn’t have to encompass the entire yard. It can be a portion of the yard. This is where size matters! When fencing an area, it must be a large enough space to provide comfort for exercise, fresh air, clean water and plenty of room to eliminate, defecate, pee, poop, whatever you call waste. Secondly, the location should be directly accessible from the house to ensure safety for your dog and convenience for you, the owner to clean up the peep and poo! This is never a fun job but necessary. Lastly, the location of the fence should provide for shade and shelter from the sun and other elements. Include a chair or bench, heck go all out and create an outdoor boudoir in the area so everyone can be comfortable.
The type of fence you choose may depend on aesthetics or based on financial factors. Choices include wood stockade, chain link like the picture shows, a combination of wooden posts with wire, or a prefab portable kennel. The wood fence will provide the most privacy. The caution with chain link is that there are some ingenious dogs of Houdini descent that can climb a chain link fence up and over. You may want to think about the bottom of the enclosure to prevent the digging of underground escapisms. All fencing should be at least four feet high, preferably six feet and include a lockable and un-lockable gate.
Remember, the outdoors is a temporary haven for your pooch, not a permanent home. Dogs are inquisitive, social creatures and need love and attention. They will take their cue from you. Bark up the right tree, and prepare a safe, comfortable environment for your new companion. Your pet will return your thoughtfulness with unconditional love that only a dog can give. Article By: Gloria Yarina and Fern Goodman